What Really Causes Chapped Lips?

chapped lipsOne of the most annoying and irritating experiences is having chapped lips. Not only is it frustrating, but it can be downright painful and something you're always aware of whether you're eating or talking. The constant licking of the lips, in a futile attempt to provide them with moisture, often doesn't work. What's more, is that they often times worsen after being perpetually wetted by the tongue. This further exacerbates the problem. Lips can become sore, painful and peel because the skin of the lips is naturally much more delicate and sensitive than the skin anywhere else on our bodies. Here's some common causes.

Leaving Them Unprotected

Some people think that simply applying balm to the lips will do the necessary and adequate job of protecting them, but that is not always the case. Certain lip balms don't work the way they ought to and sometimes they even make the situation worse. One of the key ways to protect the lips, that doesn't include lip balm, is through sunscreen. Many times lips will breakout, become dry and start to peel when they have been exposed to too much sun. Make sure that your lips are adequately protected.

Mouth Breathing

Those who suffer from allergies may realize that when they are stuffed up or congested, their lips become dry and peel. This is a common problem, as the constant passing of air over the lips tends to dry them out. This is also found in people who have sleep apnea or snore, due to their inability to breathe properly through their nose. They wake up with chapped and dry lips fairly regularly.

Overdoing The Vitamin A

While sometimes chapped lips can actually be healed by vitamins, namely vitamins B6 and B12, an overabundance of vitamin A can lead to lips drying out and becoming irritable. If you take more than 25,000 IU of the vitamin a day, it could be negatively impacting your lips. Cut back on that vitamin and gradually add in B vitamins to see a change in the condition of your lips.


One of the first places to feel the lack of proper hydration is the lips. Because the skin of the lips doesn't naturally contain oil glands the way other skin does, it makes them more susceptible to a lack of necessary moisture. Drinking enough water throughout the day is absolutely crucial to the health of your entire body and the lips are no exception. Lack of proper hydration is seen on the lips fairly quickly.

Medical Conditions

Many people don't realize that certain autoimmune condition can cause the drying of the skin and the lips. Certain thyroid conditions, and a skin condition called psoriasis, often lead to dry lips. Diabetes is also known to cause the dryness of the mouth and lips. This is also the case for those with Down's syndrome. Due to the internal makeup that allows these conditions to flourish, they often have side effects that can lead to chapped lips.

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